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“I’m not ‘White’, I am Latina”- On the Insulting Rhetoric of White Latinos Invading Afro-Indigenous Spaces, September 4th, 2021

Singer Camila Cabello/Vijat Mohindra / NBC

Written by Victoria Kabeya, VKY

All Rights Reserved

American institutions always had, and this is no secret, a great disdain for the individuals they made minorities in terms of economic power. If African-Americans have been throughout the centuries forced to distance themselves from their African roots which were taken away from them, and were obliged to create new identities based on their skin color as a substitute for a lack of lineages which should have linked them back to Africa, the racist, colonial creation of the term “Latino/a” or “Hispanic”, to refer to an individual with roots in South America, the Caribbean and Central America did allow many colonial Creole people from that mentioned area to exploit the racial confusion.

It is not new and not a secret at all. Since 1492, with the expulsion of the black Moors from Southern Europe, a form of racism opposing Northern European whiteness to Southern European whiteness saw the light. The first ones are those whose whiteness is deemed “pure” and authentic”, while the other ones, due to the race mixing of the Moors who remained there for eight hundred years, are considered not to be really white. Their skin is darker, their hair and features more different than that of the Northeners. Following this scheme, supported by a dynamic of economic force, the center of European financial power being located in the North, Iberia being poor after having lost most of their colonies, the South remains a space of disdain from the Northerners.

In reality, the racial hierarchy imposed by Europeans in the Americas and Africa was first created in Europe itself.

As the Iberian colonizers created racial structures and supported the myth of mestizaje, their descendants have been living upon this narrative to either dissimulate their colonial agenda or assert their white domination. The race-mixing propaganda actually furthered confusion in the minds of the oppressed who no longer know who they truly are and want to use the Iberian identity as their foundation.

As the discussion of Afro-Indigenous pride is becoming more and more present, especially with social media, White Latinos want to be included in African and Native spaces. This desire refers to the hypocrisy of the Latin colonial agent. Unlike the Northern Europeans who focus on racial separation, the white Latins use racial confusion and their flirt with non-whiteness to navigate through colors, all the while using the propaganda of mestizaje, métissage, mestiçagemto justify a colorless, rainbow-like foundations which are, according to them, the core of Latin identity. Therefore, Latinidad is not only a desire of the Criollos to impose their colonial views within the spaces of Afro-Indigenous people, but it is a colonial structure which allows one to glorify and secure the position of the Criollo/White Latino dominant figure. The latter uses the factor of race-mixing, multiracialism as a positive element when in reality, such racial blends were the consequences of rape, abuse and destruction. Yet, such multiheritages, supported by the Afro-Indigenous cultural creations now known as salsa, merengue, bachata and many other genres have been exploited as a way to showcase the joyful nature of the colonized individuals. Latinidad, thus, is the ultimate argument which validates their pro-European views.

In their legendary hypocrisy, and their ultimate disdain for things not related to race-mixing, Southern Europeans and their Creole descendants are as brutal, racist and are great supporters of apartheid as well as their Northerner counterparts. Since the expulsion of the Moors, white Spaniards and Portuguese have been obsessed with whiteness, purity, Christianity and were always, therefore, as Eurocentric as the Northerners. By the 15th century, the Iberians already made a difference between Criollos and Iberians. Though they were white, one category was born and raised in the Americas (Creoles/Criollos) and was deemed lower than that of the Iberians who remained on the continent.

Many modern day activists complain about the lack of representation of African and Native bodies in magazines and Hispanic papers. In reality, these activists fail to understand that, there is no reason for these companies to highlight African and Native bodies when their structures were made to highlight LATINIDAD, hence individuals with Iberian roots, emulating Iberian culture and thus whiteness, Europeanness, not Nativity or Africanness. However, most modern day Latinized Afro-Indigenous people wrongly believe they are “Latinos”, almost finding a connection to Iberia as they consider and acknowledge whiteness before that of the Natives or Africans. If Latino refers to Southern Europeans, which is the case, there is no reason to ask for more Native and African inclusion at all. This is not the place of the latter two.

In that issue, as they keep playing with confusion, though they are aware of the colonial legacy, they want to use the presence of African and Native bodies to justify their presence in a sphere which was made multiracial by force. As Latinidad was a concept created by both Iberian colonizers and Northern Europeans, the term serves as a symbol of distance between the Northerners in their disdain for the Southerners. Elements considered foreign to their Northern European concept of whiteness will be deemed exotic and different, even though white too

The Criollos lie and want to place themselves under the domination of the Northerners, as if their position was similar to that of the African and Native bodies. Indeed, the exploitation of the Latinidad concept is made to change the narrative of oppression. The Latinos want to use the concept of “pure whiteness”, and the contempt experienced at the hands of the Northerners to claim a form of “otherness” when they, themselves, are white, colonizers and dominant entities. The Northerners do reject them whenever the dynamic of power and economic domination is at stake, but not when it comes to colonialism and domination.

Worst, when facing Africans in Latinized America, many white Criollos do not hesitate to claim distant Moorish so as not to be fully white to the eyes of the Africans, when they are white.

Latinos, Criollos, Southern Europeans were not, are not and will forever be European agents of domination and the concept of Latinidad, unfortunately, due to the complex of inferiority of the oppressed ones, the propaganda of mestizaje still allows them to give themselves a color out of opportunism.

All Rights Reserved


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